Eyal Crossing, Sun 2.5.10, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
A cloudy, rainy day, affecting the workers and the crossing to some degree.
05:00 A steady stream of people coming through after spending time being inspected in the installation. They say the crossing is functioning reasonably well today, with no unusual delays.
One laborer forgot his cellphone inside. We managed to locate the guard who opened the turnstile for him (if no one can be found, people wishing to go back in have to wait fruitlessly next to the turnstile for a long time). He was happy to find his phone. Soon after another laborer arrived, whose employer had just notified him that he wouldn’t be working today because of the rain. Most nights he sleeps in Qalqilya so he won’t be late for work. Now he wants to go home, near Nablus. He waited longer, but after a few phone calls to the DCO the turnstile’s green light went on and he was able to re-enter.
Conclusion: There has to be someone inside easily accessible for such cases. The DCO phone number has to be available at the installation, especially at the exit, for cases like this; they’ve already promised to do so.
05:25 About 2400 people have already gone through. About 1000 more are still waiting outside. The information comes from the international representatives stationed on the Palestinian side; we compared it with our estimates. People are coming through at a reasonable rate. According to those coming through, eight inspection stations are operating within.
05:30 It’s pouring rain, a cloudburst. People stop coming out. Apparently people were not being let in for a long time. In the parking lot, people crowd together under the only shelter, others look for somewhere else to get out of the rain and many get wet (including us). That’s proof the existing shelter is inadequate. Construction has begun on an additional shelter (a request we’d made to the Crossings Authority). On the other hand, nothing’s been done about water – there’s only one faucet, which doesn’t work well (the second is clogged), and summer is just around the corner. We have to remind them again, get them to hurry up.
06:00 Those coming through are now complaining about having waited a long time (1 ½ hours or more). We walked around to the rear of the checkpoint, to the northeast, to the point we could see the Palestinian side – the line is no longer crowded and people seem to be entering at a reasonable rate.
06:30 3500 people have crossed by now – again, according to the count by the international observers.
06:55 Except for a few more people who asked to return the way they came, most are already on their way or standing in groups near their rides. We didn’t note any unusual incidents.